Real Madrid’s flawless start to the campaign was put to a halt when they took on Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu on the weekend. Vinicius Jr’s first-half goal was cancelled out by Kike Garcia, which was enough as the visitors secured a point.
Madrid will look to get back to winning ways tonight as they take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. Carlo Ancelotti has made two changes to the team that graced the pitch on the weekend.
Antonio Rudiger is replaced by Eder Militao in the heart of the back-four, paired alongside mainstay David Alaba. The quartet is flanked by Dani Carvajal on the right, while Ferland Mendy takes up responsibility for the same on the left.
They will have the job of screening Andriy Lunin, who starts ahead of the injured Thibaut Courtois.
There is one change to the midfield as well, with Federico Valverde coming in to take over Dani Ceballos’ spot. Toni Kroos was one of the better performers against Osasuna, and retains his spot, while Aurelian Tchouameni, without competition, starts as the lone pivot.
Karim Benzema had a game to forget, missing what could have been the match-winning penalty. Despite that, his place in the lineup was never in contention, and he starts as the striker.
In his aid, he will have Vinicius on the left, while Rodrygo Goes continues in the starting XI on the right.
Confirmed Real Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Tchouameni, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius
Real Madrid forward set for talks with Arsenal this week – report
With less than six months left on his contract, Marco Asensio looks to be on his way out of Real Madrid very soon. The Spaniard has not yet started talks to extend his contract with the Spanish giants, which has garnered the eyes from several top clubs across Europe.
One of the clubs interested in his signature happens to be Premier League leaders Arsenal. Mikel Arteta is said to be a fan of the player, and will try to be bring him to North London on a free transfer this summer.
According to Mirror, Asensio’s agents will fly to London this week to get an a better understanding Arsenal’s interest in the player. Talks are scheduled with Arsenal, among possibly other clubs.
Asensio’s priority remains to extend with Arsenal, but not at ‘any cost’. The winger is looking for raise with his new contract to go along with a four-year deal. The report states that he currently earns around €130,000 per week at Madrid.
The 27-year-old has been waiting for an official offer from Los Blancos for a while, but the club will wait for March or April before taking a decision on his extension.
Asensio took a while to grow important for Carlo Ancelotti this season, but has been featuring regularly on the right-wing lately. He even scored in 2-0 win against Valencia in midweek, taking his tally to two for the season, excluding three assists as well.
Arsenal are definitely looking to add more firepower to their squad for next season, having already brought in Leandro Trossard in the winter. Asensio could serve as the perfect backup to Bukayo Saka, who has been in incredible form all season.